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Sewing With Power Mesh

How to add power mesh to swimwear - a tutorial from Skirt Fixation

In preparation for the release of the Grace Tankini, we’ve been preparing a few tutorials for you.  Swimwear sewing is doable for the home sewist, and every tip and tutorial helps you achieve a more professional look.  Today we’re talking about power mesh.

How to add power mesh to swimwear - a tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Power mesh is a lightweight, sheer fabric used to add extra compression or support to swimwear.  The best power mesh fabric to use for swimwear is made from a nylon spandex blend, and has a 4 way stretch.  The amount of stretch varies, so you should look for power mesh with similar stretch properties to your main swim fabric and lining.

Speaking of lining, the most common application of power mesh is to add it to the wrong side of your lining.  Stay tuned for the tutorial below on just how to do that.  But power mesh can also be used in place of the lining altogether.

Why to Use Power Mesh:

Reasons you might want to add power mesh to your swimwear are: extra compression power, extend the life of your suit, and modesty if your main fabric is thin.  Keep in mind that the extra compression power may require you to go up a size when making your swimwear.  This is both because power mesh often has less stretch than regular swim fabric, and also because every layer of fabric you add to your suit can mean less stretch overall.

Power mesh is also often used as the briefs in men/boys swim trunks.   It comes in many different colors and even a few prints.  You should wash and dry your power mesh in the same way you plan to launder your finished suit.  For us that means a cold water wash and a line dry.

Power mesh usually costs between $3 and $15 per yard.  We’ve linked to some sources we recommend for power mesh below:
Power Mesh White Fabric  
Performance Fabric Power Mesh Tango Red   
from JoAnn Fabrics

Power Mesh from Amazon

Power Mesh from Peekaboo Pattern Shop

The Fabric Fairy 

Cali Fabrics

Mood Fabrics

Online Fabric Store has 16 different colors of power mesh

Stylish Fabrics

How to Use Power Mesh:

Now here’s a tutorial on how to add power mesh to your swimwear.  In this tutorial, the power mesh is nude colored, the lining is white, and the main swim fabric is red and white striped.

How to add power mesh to swimwear - a tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Step 1:
Just like all swim wear fabric and lining, power mesh is easer to cut flat instead of on the fold. Also, we find it easier to get a more accurate cut when using a rotary cutter rather than a scissors. When you have your power mesh cut out, pin it to the wrong side of your lining fabric. (If your lining doesn’t have a right or wrong side, just choose one!)

How to add power mesh to swimwear - a tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Step 2:
Baste the power mesh to the lining fabric inside the seam allowance (closer to the raw edges) around all sides of the pattern piece.

How to add power mesh to swimwear - a tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Here you can see the power mesh is now basted to the lining fabric.  Sometimes the basting causes the lining to curl up a little around the edges.  This is no biggie, and it will stop once you remove your basting stitches.

How to add power mesh to swimwear - a tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Above you can see the right side of the fabric now has a line of basting stitches close to the edge.

How to add power mesh to swimwear - a tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Step 3:
Pin your lining pattern pieces together as according to the pattern instructions, keeping in mind the power mesh is on the wrong side of the lining fabric.  Remember to use ballpoint pins so you don’t snag your fabric when sewing swimwear.

Step 4:
Sew your lining pieces together with a stretch stitch. You can see how this line of sewing is outside the 1st basted line of thread. After this step, remove your basting stitches if desired.

How to add power mesh to swimwear - a tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Step 5:
Finally, sew the lining to the main fabric as instructed. You can see the power mesh is sandwiched between the main fabric and the lining.

There you have it: how and why to use power mesh in your swimwear sewing.  Leave us your thoughts about power mesh below!

Affiliate links are used in this post.  If you click one of our affiliate links, we may make a few pennies at no extra cost to you.  We only like to really great produce we love and recommend!

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Grace Tankini Tester Call

Grace Tankini by Savvy Patterns

For almost 1 year I’ve been working on my next pattern, and today I’m finally calling for testers to help get the Grace Tankini ready for sale!  It’s a really exciting day, and I’m so glad for everyone’s help.

Grace Tankini by Savvy Patterns

The Grace Tankini is a vintage inspired swimsuit with lots of options.  View A contains a circle skirt and a top with a playful circle in the back.  View B has ruched center areas which are customizable to flatter your figure.  The sporty bottoms can be made with or without matching ruching.  You can mix and match the 2 tops with 4 bottom options.  Include the 2 perfectly sized patch pockets to keep things stored while you swim.  The secure card pocket can be added to any of the bottoms.  Both top views include a shelf bra.  The Grace Tankini is the ultimate feminine swimsuit.  Whether you’re looking for a suit with more coverage due to modesty or skin sensitivity or some other reason, the Grace Tankini is the swimsuit for you!

Testers will be notified by email by May 30.  You will have 1 week to source fabric (I know not everyone has swimsuit fabric laying around!)  and the test will begin June 5.  If you can fulfill those time requirements, please fill out the tester form below.

Don’t think you can sew swimwear, or need some inspiration?  Right now there’s a swimwear tour filled with all things swimwear sewing.  Check it out:

Hosted by Sew Sophie Lynn & Paisley Roots
Pear Berry Lane / Inspinration / It’s Liesel / Sewing For Four
Harper Lu / Call Ajaire / Stylin Stacy / Skirt Fixation
Sewing By Ti / Sewing With Sarah / Sew & TellMe Made
Made By Melli / Life Sew Savory / That’s What She Crafted / Auschick
Rebel & Malice / EYMM / Stitching & Making / Lilliepawillie

And like any great blog tour there is a giveaway hosted by these sponsors:

We’re going to be giving away a Grace Tankini pattern!  Get all the details here.